July 30, 2008

Obama's media .vs. hearts and minds of American voters

Gallup tracking poll out of registered voters has Obama up by eight. If you look at likely voters, McCain is up by four, and McCain among likely voters has had a swing of ten points since last Friday. Of course this is WAY to Early in the election season. Still, its rather interesting.

A NYT writer Adam Nagourney wrote this piece on the campaign Why is Obama not improving in the polls?

This article got him tarred and feathered by Obama's press operations.

So Obama is behind where he wants to be. When he is in unscripted situations he falters badly. And his resume is very thin. The Democrats want this election bagged tagged and delivered and I am wondering if the DNC is questioning Obama's ability.

July 28, 2008

Another orbit accomplished!

Yesterday was my birthday. We had a really nice day. I came up with the idea of each of my three suggesting something to do one on one. Trevor wanted to go to the movies, we saw Batman, luckily Trevor had done some yard work for cash the day before.

Connor wanted to go on a bikeride (he was VERY excited about this). Diana and Leonie came along. We drive to a school next to our big city park, went around the outskirts and crossed the river, then we had to go around the steam train engine that is displayed in the park. Past the sporting park, past the walmart-wetlands, by the skate park. Across the road for a soda and fries at Burger King, then back across the road and along the trail next to the I5 and the frisbee golf course, ending with a traverse of the steel bridge over the river.

Diana wanted to go Roller skating. Unfortunatly, my skates are at the shoe repair shop, so that will be later in the week.

My niece Crystal is back in the States visiting and was able to stop by and partake in Dinner at Red Robin (high class dining in Roseburg), then we forced her to watch Diana's episode of MADE.

Diana's friend from Germany, Leonie, and her parents are here in Roseburg to tour some of the sights. They presented me with a laser etched crystal of the Lueneburg town hall.

After all else was said and done we had a chocolate cake (Connor insistance) and a fresh picked Blueberry, home made pie, Tina lovingly made.

All in all it was a nice way to celebrate another Orbit.

July 27, 2008

Holy Rusted Metal prez. Bush!

George W. Bush aka The Batman! Andrew Klavin writes for the Wall Street Journal Opinion page. I came across his article he wrote comparing Pres. Bush to The Batman, Yeah, I thought it was going to be another mean spirited joke. I found it to be insightful and as a friend put it "Spot-On"
"Leftists frequently complain that right-wing morality is simplistic. Morality is relative, they say; nuanced, complex. They're wrong, of course, even on their own terms.

Left and right, all Americans know that freedom is better than slavery, that love is better than hate, kindness better than cruelty, tolerance better than bigotry. We don't always know how we know these things, and yet mysteriously we know them nonetheless.

The true complexity arises when we must defend these values in a world that does not universally embrace them -- when we reach the place where we must be intolerant in order to defend tolerance, or unkind in order to defend kindness, or hateful in order to defend what we love."
Anyways, I liked the piece, wanted to share.

July 26, 2008


Have you ever assumed you have been attacked, only to have the person you thought was attacking you say they are not attacking you?

When attacked, people defend themselves. So if you were not actually attacked, but thought you were and acted to defend, then wouldn't that defense become an attack?

If you did attack someone and they defended, then you told said person you hadn't attacked, wouldn't that be a kind of defense against the defensiveness caused by you the attacker?

Umkay, time for ibuprofen.

dang werds....

A while back I was asking my son if he had pride in his accomplishments. His response was to point out that pride is a sin. This comes from the seven deadly sins, which comes from a monks writings Evagrius Ponticus, who listed eight "evil thoughts" Gluttony; fornication; avarice; sorrow; anger; discouragement; vainglory; pride.

Later Pope Gregory the Great would edit this list down to the "Seven Deadly Sins" we all know and love... pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth. (gotta love Wiki's. I originally thought Dante came up with these).

Pride is excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God). Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbor."

After my talk I was grappling for some synonym to use other then pride. Dang if the thesaurus didn't come up with stuff I thought sounded much worse: arrogance, haughtiness, hauteur, insolence, loftiness, lordliness, overbearingness, presumption, pridefulness, proudness, superciliousness, superiority.

So back to using pride with the explanation in the usage of the word not falling under the sinful definition. You can be proud of a job well done. Rubbing it in the face of others and discounting what they have done is where the 'bad-Pride' comes in...

If I was in Germany I could make a word like Doingagoodjobbutnotbeinganassaboutit.

Oh BTW Prudence, Justice, Restraint, Courage, Faith, Hope and Love are the seven heavenly virtues. (they dint seem to be as famous)

July 25, 2008

Getting fit, loosing fat

Turn your speakers off. Music is very annoying.

In an ongoing effort to loose weight and stay in shape I opted for 'bodyweight' exercises and walking the dog.

Above is a video with the three exercises I am attempting to do everyday. Long term I want to do a set of 50 of the pushups. 100 of the squats and hold the bridge for 60 seconds.

These really do kick your fanny and they are not terribly time consuming or cost a bunch of gym membership monies. The walking the dog is great for getting into shape. Our Dog has never looked fitter... I still have a ways to go...

This morning I had Red Cross Appointment to donate blood. (got my two gallon pin). They are across town and I figured I would walk there and Tina and I estimated 45 minute walk.

Well we were wrong. As I reached the bike path next to the river, a mental calculation prompted me to run the rest of the way, about three miles, and I was late by two minutes. This also meant that taking my pulse and blood pressure had to wait a bit as well.

the phlebotomist, was chatty as usual and asked if I had run in, I joked that running home would be easier because I would not have to carry the extra blood weight. I learned that I had just lost about 10% of my oxygen carrying vessals and running wouldnt be good. As it was the walk home was fine, I did start to feel a bit out of sorts while taking my shower.

I think I am going to take it easy for the next couple of hours.

July 24, 2008

life as I see it

There are huge social cycles that occur. A large butterfly like effect that you can intellectually trace back to some nexus.

kids today, they are raised by schools, Internet, television and games. Parents are both working hard to provide for their family that they just don't have energy to put the effort into.

This is a generalization, of course. How did we get here?

Well you could Nexus back to the moratorium on offshore drilling, and stopping nuclear power. The cost of power going up effects all goods as does the cost of delivery. Add to that ongoing, on growing government programs taking bigger and bigger chunks of your salary, along with regulations requiring businesses provide, unneeded, unwanted insurance plans. Making one persons wages not enough to sustain a family. Illusion or not.

How about WWII and women entering the job market? Quite a few ego's shattered because of that. And of course most men not comprehending the situation. Suddenly you have an 80% (wild guess) increase in the labor pool. Supply and demand means that wages would drop. That puts dual income as a must have.

My mom was a stay at home mom. We grew up, sharing the days events around the dinner table. On some weekends we would get in the car and drive places as a family. We knew the neighbors. I can still mentally go down the street imagining the houses and recall the last names of the inhabitants. I am not sure a majority of people could do that today.

Because my mom and so many moms on the street were stay at home, they would tend to get out of the house, garden, bowl, go to PTA meetings, see each other shopping etc. They would make plans and in general have that 'watering hole' or Laundry mat experience that is largely gone.

There are a lot of good parents out there. They are the ones asking if they are doing the right by their kids. The kids of these good folks, invite friends over. Some of these friends see and note something is different at this household and be attracted to something about that. The real observational thinkers, will actually ask questions and talk to the parents.

These kids have the potential to incorporate what they saw lacking in their own home life when they get to that point. This is already happening.

July 21, 2008

Final Nail for Global warming

Christopher Monckton of Brenchley has put out a paper titled Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered. Which is being touted as both the start of real science on the earths climate and the death of the religion of global warming.

"the conclusion is that, perhaps, there is no “climate crisis”, and that currently-fashionable efforts by governments to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions are pointless, may be ill-conceived, and could even be harmful."

A much easier read that wont glaze over your eyes is here.

July 20, 2008

news media

MSNBC, CNN, FOX all crank out less then news items and show little care for fact checking or balance. Someplace along the lines Truth took second place to ratings.

When you have to fill 24 hours a day with news in this format you need to have filler and the path of least resistance appears to be Hollywood Train wrecks.

Worse then that, when you trivialize information everything gives the appearance of having the same weight. You will see that Angelina Jolie's babies are 'cute' right next to Iran's nuclear talks.

The mistakes, the opinion, the editorial, the snarkyness, and the arrogance really makes me wonder if this industry should be regulated by the government for quality and fairness....

July 18, 2008

Bigger Fatter America

Obesity is based on the body mass index, a calculation using height and weight. A 5-foot, 9-inch adult who weighs 203 pounds would have a BMI of 30, which is considered the threshold for obesity. Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee lead the nation when it comes to obesity.

The CDC put the adult obesity rate at 34 percent in 2005 and 2006. I wonder when Peolosi will declare it a crises...

A study, published in the July 17, 2008 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine made headlines seeming to state that a low-carbohydrate is the best for health. The Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Research Foundation funded the study

So whats to do? The price of food going up will help, I guess. Higher gas prices means not driving and walking and bike riding more? Still obesity is rampant among the poor, chances are their habits will not change.

Tax breaks for the fit? Higher premiums for the not-so-fit? Government food centers that carefully administer the right amount of calories and exercise in some kind of a fat internment camp? Re-instate the draft for anyone over 34 BMI? Fine any restaurant or grocery store that sells unhealthy stuff? Make obesity a hate crime against ones self? Liposuction machines sold retail with a good instructional video? Public shunning? Asking religious leaders to tend to the issue? A nationwide reality show with prizes? Government checks to all citizens to use on fitness equipment?

Advances in Science

I was looking up the original version of a joke the other day and I came across a discussion about the fallacy of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is the theory that for some reason the universe exploded into being. For those of you who do not like the idea of an exploding universe, Terence Witt presents an intricate, four-dimensional expression of our universe in which energy and space constitute existence.

Most importantly, the universe is infinite and eternal; it did not begin with a bang nor will it end with a whimper.

So take that Physics FAT CATS!

July 16, 2008

Brad on Letterman

Reasons I posted this. I love this song! Ronn would appreciate Brads Axe skills. Also, the character in the song could be portrayed by Byron. At least thats who my minds sees.

Oh, check out the guitar strap.

July 14, 2008

Schools in General

At the turn of the last century, Alfred Binet wanted to identify those students who needed special help in school. This idea has been horribly misused time and time again.

Educators and anyone with more then one kid, knows that there are different learning styles.
Dr. Kolb identified and categorized four of them. (this was probably a mistake, oh well)

Converging - the decision maker (active experimentation-abstract conceptualization) Accommodating - the do-er (active experimentation-concrete experience)
Assimilating - the planner (reflective observation-abstract conceptualization)
Diverging - the creator (reflective observation-concrete experience)

From the two above idea's, wouldn't you want to group children by ability and learning style to most effectively teach kids?

The current method of age grouping may have some kind of advantage, I just am not sure I can figure out what that would be.

I have two kids... geeze, One Adult and one young adult, who went through the public education system, did very well and came out with enough tools to deal with life. My youngest is unique in ability and learning style and trying to find teachers with the skills and understanding is a challenge.

I have found quite a few educators have sever limits they cannot overcome when dealing with children outside of a certain behavior variable. These teachers and their peers seem unaware of said limits until the teacher is put into the situation. Then getting the feedback that makes enough sense to change, or alter the situation is VERY difficult.

You heard that Cops have a code of silence? Teachers turn a blind eye to there comrades abilities and lack there of a lot.

July 12, 2008


So I'm reading this article about overstock.com is going to stop selling fur. Now if you have a business of selling stuff to people I fully support you choosing what products to carry and what not to carry. If by choosing to carry or not carry some item you are making some kind of political or ethical statement which is being made into company policy, I would think that you would want some consistency to avoid looking foolish or hypocritical.

For instance if your the owner of Buy-N-Large and you decide to stop selling digital cameras because of the picture of atrocities in the country of Guilder that were published on the Internet. In your prepared statement you state that you will no longer carry Sony, Fuji, Olympus camera's in support of the genocide fighters (or some such). Now everyone knows that Buy-N-Large carries Kodak as well and that they will continue to sell those after the policy is in place.

Back to reality - Chief Executive Patrick Byrne stated:
“You don’t have to think about it very much before you realize … you’re completely objectifying an animal when you say I’m going to wear it as a decorative object. That’s over the line for anyone who gives it any thought, I would think.”

What about when the animal is made into skirts, pants, jackets, shoes, or belts...?

July 06, 2008

the Hero Shot

Once in a great while, a movie will provide a hero shot. This is one of those that get your heart going sucking you into the drama of the movie providing that "GOAL" moment of excitement.

For instance, the first time you saw Star Wars (a new hope). And Han Solo comes from out of no where to save Luke from Darth Vaders TIE fighter.

Some of the ones I recall fondly:

Neo stopping the bullets in mid air with curious ease. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/

Rick Latimer (James Belushi) catching the punks punch with his hand and delivering the line "My Turn!" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093780/

Ellen Riply (Sigourney Weaver) in the load lifter exo-suit fighting the queen "Get away from her, you 'bitch!'" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090605/

When the blast doors open and instead of Reavers pouring through, River Tam (Summer Glau) stands alone clutching an axe and a sword. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379786/

Was wondering if you (the reader) has one.

July 04, 2008

To honor our Independance

Hero's still fighting to insure our Independence

Rank and Organization: Corporal, United States Marine CorpsFor conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west. Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander's convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Rank and Organization: Private First Class, United States ArmyFor conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an M2 .50-caliber Machine Gunner, 1st Platoon, C Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in Adhamiyah, Northeast Baghdad, Iraq, on 4 December 2006.That afternoon his platoon was conducting combat control operations in an effort to reduce and control sectarian violence in the area. While Private McGinnis was manning the M2 .50-caliber Machine Gun, a fragmentation grenade thrown by an insurgent fell through the gunner's hatch into the vehicle. Reacting quickly, he yelled "grenade," allowing all four members of his crew to prepare for the grenade's blast. Then, rather than leaping from the gunner's hatch to safety, Private McGinnis made the courageous decision to protect his crew. In a selfless act of bravery, in which he was mortally wounded, Private McGinnis covered the live grenade, pinning it between his body and the vehicle and absorbing most of the explosion.Private McGinnis' gallant action directly saved four men from certain serious injury or death. Private First Class McGinnis' extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Rank and Organization: Master-At-Arms Second Class (Sea, Air And Land), United States Navy For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as automatic weapons gunner for Naval Special Warfare Task Group Arabian Peninsula, in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 29 September 2006. As a member of a combined SEAL and Iraqi Army Sniper Overwatch Element, tasked with providing early warning and stand-off protection from a rooftop in an insurgent held sector of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Petty Officer Monsoor distinguished himself by his exceptional bravery in the face of grave danger. In the early morning, insurgents prepared to execute a coordinated attack by reconnoitering the area around the element’s position. Element snipers thwarted the enemy’s initial attempt by eliminating two insurgents. The enemy continued to assault the element, engaging them with a rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire. As enemy activity increased, Petty Officer Monsoor took position with his machine gun between two teammates on an outcropping of the roof. While the SEALs vigilantly watched for enemy activity, an insurgent threw a hand grenade from an unseen location, which bounced off Petty Officer Monsoor’s chest and landed in front of him. Although only he could have escaped the blast, Petty Officer Monsoor chose instead to protect his teammates. Instantly and without regard for his own safety, he threw himself onto the grenade to absorb the force of the explosion with his body, saving the lives of his two teammates. By his undaunted courage, fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of certain death, Petty Officer Monsoor gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Rank and Organization: Sergeant First Class, United States ArmyFor conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on 4 April 2003. On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 fellow soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers. As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier. In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers. Sergeant First Class Smith’s extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division “Rock of the Marne,” and the United States Army.

July 03, 2008

Reasons why CFL blubs are not the bulbs you might think they are.

  1. The old EPA figures most often cited are incorrect for several reasons. The basic one is that they assume 100% of electricity in the US is from coal plants. Not true. 50% of electricity does not come from coal plants in the US and coal plants are now being mandated to reduce their mercury emissions by between about 70% and 90% over the next several years in at least 15 States and the Feds are likely to do the same in the next Administration. The most recent calculations from the DOE indicate that, on the average, CFL's are worse than incandescent bulbs in terms of mercury.
  2. Places like California produce little energy from coal plants, and several states produce none. So any CFL energy reductions will not cut much, if any, mercury there.
  3. The 5mg of mercury generally claimed for CFL's is largely a goal and not the current reality which is as much as 600% higher for some major manufacturers according to suppliers of CFL's to the State of New Jersey. All but one of the CFL's offered there had more than 5mg.
  4. CFL's are almost all made in China with energy from mostly very dirty coal plants that emit ten times the amount of mercury per KWH asUS coal plants emit. Since China gets about 80% from coal and the US only about 50%, the comparison is much worse. Also, it likely takes the equivalent of about 25% of the CFL's energy savings to produce them there including the extra energy for the packaging and shipping compared to incandescent bulbs which are almost all made here. That represents a lot more mercury per CFL. Since fuel and power in China emit up to twice as much CO2 as in the US, on average, there may go up to half the CO2 savings. And since places like California are twice as clean in terms of CO2 as the rest of the US, there may be only nominal CO2 savings realized from CFL's in some States. The same holds for SO2and the Nitrogen Oxides.
  5. Partly due to the increasing demand for their CFL's, China is one of the few places left on Earth that still mines specifically for new mercury. And it is unlikely that these mines would meet our environmental and safety standards. Similarly, to meet the increased demand from a massive CFL program in the US, China will need to construct many new manufacturing plants using dirty energy to build and requiring much more dirty power to operate. This in turn will contribute to the need for even more new dirty coal plants there.
  6. As much mercury is spilled into the environment in the manufacture of CFL's in China as goes into the CFL's according to recent statements from industry representatives.
  7. CFL's are delivered here on ships using bunker oil, the worst mercury and CO2 producer of the fuel oils. Not to mention all the other really bad heavy metals and toxins that it emits. Overall, it is1,000 times dirtier than standard transportation fuel. Again,incandescent bulbs are still almost all made in the US in existing industrial facilities and shipped using cleaner standard fuel.
  8. There is no recycling program in place or planned that could handle the number of CFL's proposed. Only 2% of CFL's are recycled.And after many years, even the industrial recycling programs only handle about 25% of fluorescent lights, with no verification of how much of the mercury is actually captured.
  9. It is likely that if any major recycling program is set up, the CFL's will be shipped back to China for reprocessing in newly built plants using dirty energy.